Posted by DavidGreen
Feb 19, 2024


As Michael Jordan is just about to turn 61 years old on February 17th, 2024 now is the perfect time to look back on his illustrious and decorated basketball career. As a young child growing up in Chicago, I was privileged enough to get to watch Jordan just about every time he set foot on the floor of Chicago Stadium and the United Center. Every time he laced them up, he put on quite a show, and he inspired the world with his prolific skills and unmatched competitive nature.

College Career

In Jordan’s freshman campaign at the University of North Carolina he averaged 13.4 - points per game and had a field goal percentage of 53.4 %. He ultimately was named the ACC freshman of the year. The highlight of his first year as a Tar Heel came when Jordan knocked down a game winning basket to solidify the 1982 National Championship against Georgetown and his longtime rival, Patrick Ewing.

His success in the NCAA continued over his next two seasons at UNC. After 3 - years of college ball, M. J. averaged 17.7 - points per game, 54 % field goal percentage, and 5 - rebounds per game. After his sophomore and junior seasons Jordan was named to the NCAA All American first - team. Michael won both the Naismith and Wooden College Player of the Year Awards in 1984 as he forfeited his last year of college eligibility to enter the NBA draft.

Early Years of Professional Career

Shortly after the Chicago Bulls drafted Jordan with 3rd - overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft, he became a star immediately winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award back in 1985. Michael was sidelined with a broken foot the majority of his second season with Chicago, but his 3rd - year there was absolutely amazing.

In the 1986 - 1987 season Jordan registered one of the most high - octane offensive years in NBA history. He cemented himself as the only player besides Wilt Chamberlain to score over 3,000 - points while averaging 37.1 - points per game, and he became the only NBA player to ever record 200 - steals as well as 100 - blocked shots. While M. J. and the Chicago Bulls were making the NBA playoffs consistently, teams like the Detroit Pistons led by Isiah Thomas came between him and a championship.

The First 3-Peat

Playing aside Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and John Paxon, Jordan earned his 2nd - NBA MVP Award in the 1990 - 1991 season. The Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1st - two rounds of the NBA postseason placing them in a well - deserved series against the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons.

After losing to Detroit the last couple of years Michael has had enough as he swept the Pistons in just 4 - total games. The Chicago Bulls ended up with a date vs. Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in Chicago’s very 1st - NBA finals appearance ever. The Chicago Bulls won the series 4 to 1 making them NBA champions as Jordan won his 1st of many NBA Finals MVP Awards.

The next season (1991 - 1992) was nothing different as Michael Jordan averaged 30.1 - points per game on 52 % shooting. He won another MVP Award, and met Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Finals. In game one M. J. put up 35 - points in the 1st - half with a record setting six 3 - point field goals as he shrugged his shoulders while heading back to defense after draining a trey. Da Bulls ended up beating the Trail Blazers in 6 - games winning back - to - back NBA championship titles with Jordan getting named to his 2nd - NBA Finals MVP Award.

During the 1992 - 1993 season Michael Jordan continued to dominate the basketball landscape. He went on to lead the Chicago Bulls to their 1st - three - peat as they beat Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in 6 - games where Air Jordan averaged an NBA Finals record 41- points per game, and he became the first player to ever win 3 - consecutive NBA Finals MVP Awards. Although Michael had achieved god - like status, his personal life got bigger than his game.

Jordan Retires…

…on October 6th, 1993 amongst both gambling allegations and the death of his father. Michael decides to give professional baseball a shot as he was the ultimate competitor, and he may have done that for his recently deceased father. Either way, his Airness did not fair all that well in the minor leagues batting just .202 with only 3 - home runs and 51 - RBI’s.

Michael Returns to Basketball

Leaving his troubled past behind him Jordan decides to go back to his number one love, hoops. After the well documented retirement, in which the Bulls had retired his number and constructed a sculpture outside the United Center, Michael comes back to play again in the windy city under # 45. Although his team made the 1995 NBA Playoffs M. J. was not able to lead his team to the promise land.

Second Three Peat

Prior to the 1995 - 1996 NBA season, Michael Jordan and the Bulls trained hard, and they were heavily motivated after the previous year’s playoff defeat. Chicago went on to have a record setting NBA regular season by going 72 and 10. The Chicago Bulls rolled through the playoffs and won their 4th - NBA title by beating the Seattle Supersonics in the 1996 NBA Finals. Michael Jordan became only the 2nd - player ever to sweep all the NBA MVP honors. He won the MVP awards for the All - Star game, the regular season, as well as the NBA Finals.

With help from Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls ripped through the regular season once again in 1996 - 1997 by going an amazing 69 and 13. M. J. lost the MVP race to Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz, but this may have motivated Jordan to have an outstanding battle vs. the Jazz in the NBA Finals that year.

During game - 5 of the Finals with the series tied at 2 - 2 Air Jordan played even though he was very sick with a stomach virus. He ended up scoring 38 - points and winning that decisive game that is now referred to as the flu game.” The Chicago Bulls ended up winning another championship, and M. J. won his 5th - NBA Finals MVP Award.

In his last season with the Chicago Bulls (1997 - 1998), Jordan may have saved his best for last. He won his 5th - NBA regular season MVP Award as well as the MVP of the NBA All - Star game. He was named to the All - NBA First - Team and First Defensive Team, and he led the Chicago Bulls through a grueling 7 - game series against the Indiana Pacers in order to meet up with the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals for the 2nd - consecutive year.

At the end of game six…

…Michael Jordan had one of the most clutch performances in NBA history. With Chicago down 3 - points and 41.9 - seconds remaining Phil Jackson calls for a timeout. When play resumed M. J. took over the game. He hit a shot over several Utah Jazz defenders to bring the Chicago Bulls back to a 1 - point deficit. Then after stealing the ball from Malone, he matched up against Bryon Russell at the top of the key with only 10 - seconds left. Jordan then crossed Russell over to hit a game winning jump shot to seal the 1998 NBA Finals championship title for the Chicago Bulls. Michael ended up winning his 6th and last much - deserved NBA Finals MVP Award.


After winning 6 - NBA championships with 6 - NBA Finals MVP Awards with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan announces his 2nd - retirement from professional basketball. Although M. J. returned, to play this time for the Washington Wizards, he was never the same as he was when he played for the Chicago Bulls. Jordan exited the NBA known as the greatest player of all time, and in my opinion, he still is!


“Michael Jordan”, basketball-reference.com, February 15, 2024.


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